3RD LEAD (Corrections)

HALO Trust vehicle fleet ordered moved inside HSZ

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 December 2005, 13:02 GMT]
Government of Sri Lanka has ordered all vehicles belonging to HALO Trust, an NGO involved in demining operations in Jaffna, to be moved inside the High Security Zone (HSZ), said a media release issued by HALO Trust in Jaffna Thursday. The release added that the Halo Trust's demining activities would be halted until further notice. This directive follows the recent robbery of two vehicles belonging to the Halo Trust.

Officials of the NGO said that although the two stolen vehicles were recovered without any damage, forty three sensor equipments used in demining left inside the vehicles have gone missing.

Halo Trust officials accused a small criminal gang consisting of a few current employees and some past employees who were terminated from their jobs at the organization of complicity in the robbery of vehicles and equipments.

Halo Trust officials maintained that the SL Government's directive is only a temporary measure and that the vehicle fleet will be inside the HSZ until normalcy returns to Peninsula.

Halo Trust, Danish demining group, and the SLA demining groups are the three major demining groups working in Jaffna Peninsula. Halo Trust has a fleet of nearly 65 vehicles, including heavy vehicles, Land Rovers and other vehicles fitted with modern accessories.

Observers pointed out this vehicle fleet under the control of SLA will likely enhance the mobility and operational effectiveness of the SLA.

The vehicles were moved with heavy SLA escort at 5 p.m. to Palaly Thursday. SLA assumed responsibility for the inventory of Wireless equipment, C-4 based detonators and, mine sensor equipments.


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